Tag Archives: Bill Mott

Kentucky Derby News For April 25, 2015

Carpe Diem working out on Saturday, April 25, 2015 (Keeneland Photo)
Carpe Diem working out on Saturday, April 25, 2015 (Keeneland Photo)

Kentucky Derby News For April 25, 2015

It was another busy morning on Saturday with many Kentucky Derby horses working out.

Over at Keeneland, Carpe Diem worked four furlongs in :48.60 with splits of :13 and :25. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.20, six furlongs in 1:14.80, and seven furlongs in 1:29.40.

Back at Churchill, Tencendur went out super early before the rain start falling. He breezed five furlongs in 1:00 in company with Wake Up in Malibu. He has internal splits of :11.60, :23.40, :35.20, and :47.40 while galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.

International Star worked at the Trackside Training Center in company with Nominative. He went four furlongs in :50.80 with splits of :13, :25.20, and :37.60 with a gallop out of 1:06.20 for five furlongs.

The latest Kentucky Derby entrant, Keen Ice, went five furlongs for his work on Saturday morning. He completed the distance in 1:01.60 with fractions of :11.80, :24, :36, and :48.60 with a six furlong gallop out in 1:15.60.

Down in Florida, both Frosted and Upstart put in separate drills. Frosted worked five furlongs in 1:01 with internal fractions of :12.80, :24.80, :36.60, and a gallop out of 1:14.40 for six furlongs. Upstart worked five furlongs in 59:80 with fractions of :12.60, :24.40, and :48.

The Daily Racing Form‘s David Grening was on hand to see the works and provides his thoughts on the workouts here.

In Illinois, Mubtaahij worked at Arlington Park on Saturday. He completed the four furlongs in :49.60 with internal fractions of :14.40, :26.80, :38.40 with a final quarter of a mile clocked in :23.

In New York, El Kabeir worked four furlongs in :46.80 despite some unexpected company from another horse. Trainer John Terranova was not concerned with that, however.

“The only unanticipated thing was the company that we hooked, but it was no problem,” Terranova said. “Simon knows him well and he did what he was supposed to do anyway regardless. He was well in hand and Simon had him there. As usual, when he feels some company he’s very competitive and on the bridle, but he’s like that if you work him solo or not. It was fine. No concerns as far as that goes. It was really nice.”

El Kabeir will arrive in Kentucky on Sunday night after shipping by van.

Over in California, Firing Line put in a five furlong workout at Santa Anita. He went the distance in 1:02.20 while his trainer caught the six furlong gallop out in “1:15 and change.” He will fly to Kentucky on Sunday morning.

Then came the big workout from Dortmund, also at Santa Anita. He went six furlongs in 1:13.60 in company with Lady Bull. He started about five lengths behind Lady Bull and ran beautifully in the work according to trainer Bob Baffert.

“He worked a little fast last time, so were hoping he’d relax,” Baffert said after the workout. “He’s getting very push-button.”

 American Pharoah came out early to gallop around the track before the rain began. He will be working on Sunday morning.

Bold Conquest galloped a mile and a half on Saturday. He is scheduled to work on Monday with company per his trainer Steve AsmussenBolo will be coming from Santa Anita on Sunday via airplane before noon.

Danzig Moon walked the shedrow after his four furlong on work in :48.80 on Friday. Far Right did not do much on Saturday, but will be back on the track Sunday morning. He too worked a half mile on Friday going the distance in :49.

Frammento walked the shedrow on Saturday at Keeneland following his four furlong work on Friday. Mr. Z galloped the track as soon as it opened.

Ocho Ocho Ocho got his first taste of the Churchill Downs surface with a gallop of a mile and a half. He may work again at Churchill Downs Monday or Tuesday.

War Story galloped a mile and a half early this morning after he schooled in the paddock.

Kentucky Oaks News

Include Betty worked five furlongs in 1:02.20 with internal splits of :25.80 and :38. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:18.

Birdatthewire worked five furlongs as well completing the distance in 1:01.20. Her internal fractions were :12.40, :24.40, :36.20, and :48.40. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.40 and seven furlongs in 1:28.80.

Angela Renee and Eskenformoney both jogged a mile after their workouts on Friday morning. Condo Commando was rested on Saturday, one day after her five furlong work.

Forever Unbridled simply walked the shedrow Saturday morning. The duo of I’m A Chatterbox and Lovely Maria both galloped a mile and a half.

Luminance and Maybellene also galloped a mile and a half. Both are expected to have a final work prior to the Kentucky Oaks.

Oceanwave walked the shedrow on Saturday. Puca galloped a mile and a half with an expected workout on Sunday, but that could be pushed back to Monday if the track is still not up to Bill Mott‘s liking.

Sarah Sis and Stellar Wind both walked the shedrow after their works on Friday. Shook Up galloped two miles and will workout on Sunday morning.

Other Workouts

Taylor S. worked four furlongs in :50.20 while turf horse Divisidero went five furlongs in 1:01.60. Divisidero had fractions of :25, :37, and a gallop out of 1:16.40 for six furlongs.

Lavender Chrissie worked five furlongs in 1:01.60.

At Santa Anita, Bayern worked six furlongs from the gate in 1:10.80 for Bob Baffert. He went in company with Cat Burglar while Baffert timed the pair in “59 and change.” Bayern is under consideration for both the Alysheba Stakes at 8.5 furlongs and the Churchill Downs Stakes at 7 furlongs.

Umgiyo also worked at Arlington Park prior to Mubtaahij. He went four furlongs in :50 with a final quarter of a mile in :23.40.

Kentucky Derby News For April 20, 2015

Calvin Borel after the 2010 Kentucky Derby, which he won aboard Super Saver (Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)
Calvin Borel after the 2010 Kentucky Derby, which he won aboard Super Saver (Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)

Kentucky Derby News For April 20, 2015

There was only one workout for Kentucky Derby hopefuls on Monday and that came from Bold Conquest. He worked five furlongs in 1:02.60 over a good track that was drying out from rain.

Bold Conquest had fractions of :12.60, :24.80, :37.40, :50.20, and the breeze of five furlongs was covered in 1:02.60 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:16.80. He is currently 23rd based on the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard of expected horses to enter the Derby.

Mr. Z also galloped over the track shortly after the track opened for training. American Pharoah schooled at the gate and then galloped during the special Derby-Oaks training session while Danzig Moon also galloped over the track. War Story also galloped and went about a mile and half.

International Star galloped a mile and a quarter at the Trackside Training Center. Mubtaahij, currently stabled at Arlington Park, went two laps over the polytrack with Umgiyo.

Calvin Borel Named To Ride On El Kabeir For the Kentucky Derby

On Sunday afternoon, jockey Calvin Borel was named as the jockey for El Kabeir in the Kentucky Derby on May 2.

Borel will replace C.C. Lopez who had ridden the 3 year old son of Scat Daddy in the previous four races. During that stretch, El Kabeir won the Grade 3 Jerome Stakes and the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes while finishing second in the Grade 3 Withers and third in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial.

Borel has ridden El Kabeir before in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs last fall. Borel guided the colt to a victory in that race in gate-to-wire fashion.

El Kabeir worked on Sunday at Belmont Park covering five furlongs in 1:00.18, which was third best of 19 workouts at the distance.

According to trainer John Terranova, El Kabeir will probably work at Belmont on Sunday, April 26, before shipping to Kentucky later that evening.

Manny Franco Confirmed As Rider of Tencendur

In other jockey news for the Kentucky Derby, Manny Franco was confirmed as the rider of Tencendur for the Kentucky Derby by the DRF’s David Grening. Trainer George Weaver confirmed the mount on Monday.

Franco was aboard Tencendur in his second start, a 3/4 length win against New York Bred maidens. That was the only time Franco rode him and the only win Tencendur has to his credit.

Tencendur went on to finish second by 2 lengths in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial behind Frosted to earn his spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.

Franco is currently second at the current Aqueduct meeting in the jockey’s standings after finishing third during Aqueduct’s winter meeting.

Two Undercard Possibilities Workout

For as much attention as the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders get, there will also be some excellent racing on the undercard for both of those races. On Monday, two potential starters worked out at Churchill Downs.

Judy The Beauty worked six furlongs going the distance in 1:12.60 with fellow stable mate Puppy Manners. She won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint by head over Better Lucky last year. Trainer Wesley Ward later confirmed that she would be pointed to the Grade 1 Humana Distaff on Derby day.

Also working out on Monday morning was Hoppertunity, who scratched prior the 2014 Kentucky Derby due to a foot injury. He went four furlongs in :48.40 and is nominated to the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes on Kentucky Oaks day (Friday, May 1).

Kentucky Oaks News

There was not much in the way of workouts for possible Kentucky Oaks starters. Only four horses galloped on Monday morning.

Forever Unbridled went a mile and a half for her gallop as did Puca. Forever Unbridled will probably work on Friday. Puca’s trainer, Bill Mott, said Junior Alvarado would have the mount for the Oaks. Mott said she is likely to breeze on Saturday.

Maybellene also galloped over the track with a scheduled workout possible on Tuesday. Both Luminance and Oceanwave just jogged around the track on Monday morning. Oceanwave is expected to work on Thursday.

Stakes Probables and Possibles

The link here provides the probable horses and possible entrants for each stakes race on Oaks and Derby Day.

2015 Wood Memorial Stakes Preview

2015 Wood Memorial Stakes Preview

As the Road to the Kentucky Derby enters its final two weekends, there is still plenty up for grabs including potential spots in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby.

On Saturday, the first of three prep races (the other two being the Grade 1 Blue Grass and the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby) will be run starting with the Grade 1 Wood Memorial Stakes from Aqueduct. A field of 7 horses entered the race and will be going one mile and eighth for a purse of $1,000,000.

Outside of the whopping purse offered, there are 100 points that will be given to the winner of this race towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard to help determine the 20 starters in the Kentucky Derby. Second place will receive 40 points, third place will receive 20 points, and fourth place will receive 10 points.

Post time for the Grade 1 Wood Memorial Stakes is scheduled for 5:30 PM Eastern Time as the tenth of 12 races at Aqueduct. Free past performances can be found here.

1. Tiz Shea D (8-1 Morning Line) – He has only two races in his career. He won his debut at Parx by 4 lengths going 5.5 furlongs. He was then turned over to the care of trainer Bill Mott where he was entered in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes. He ran a very good race in his second career start and first going a route of ground by finishing second by 2 3/4 lengths behind El Kabeir. His rail draw should have him in a great spot here if he is good enough.

2. Toasting Master (20-1 ML) – He has started six times in his career and began by winning two of his first three races. He was then entered in the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream Park where he was sixth. He then tried a route for the first time in the OBS Championship, but finished fourth that day. He too was entered in the Gotham Stakes, but could only muster another fourth place finish after setting the pace. He he weakened going 8.5 last time and this is half of a furlong farther.

3. Lieutenant Colonel (15-1 ML) – Like his counterpart on the rail, he too has had only two career starts. He won by a head at Gulfstream in his debut going one mile and was then shipped to New York for the Gotham Stakes. He did not have a good break and was never in contention while finishing last of 10 horses that day. He is probably better than he showed in the Gotham, but we may not see it here in the Wood Memorial either.

4. Frosted (5-2 ML) – He broke his maiden in his third start after starting his career with back-to-back second place finishes. He then ran in the Grade 2 Remsen where he missed by half a length and then took some time off and headed south. He was second in the Grade 2 Holy Bull behind a dominant Upstart and then ran in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth. He had the lead in the stretch, but ultimately finished fourth in a rough stretch run. He should have a good spot behind the front runners in this race.

5. El Kabeir (3-1 ML) – El Kabeir has seen his name all over the Kentucky Derby prep races in New York. He began the year with an easy win in the Grade 3 Jerome by nearly five lengths before being run down by Far From Over in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes and finishing second. He bounced back in an odd way in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes. He had to come from way behind, which is opposite of his normal stalking and pressing style. It did not matter as he won by 2 3/4 lengths over Tiz Shea D. He certainly makes sense in this spot.

6. Daredevil (9-5 ML) – The morning line favorite began his career at Belmont with a smashing debut win by 6 1/4 lengths. He parlayed that into a 2 1/2 length win in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes, also at Belmont. He had a poor trip in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on his way to finishing 11th, beaten nearly 26 lengths. He came back in March and ran second by 2 3/4 lengths in the seven furlong Grade 2 Swale Stakes. If he is ready (or if there is a sloppy track), he will be tough to beat. It is worth noting he needs to finish first or second to make the Derby.

7. Tencendur (12-1 ML) – He has yet to leave the state of New York to race, but that has worked out just fine for him. He was third in his debut and then broke his maiden second time out while going into New York bred competition. He then finished fourth in the Grade 3 Withers by 4 lengths in an even race and then could not rally to finish better than fifth in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes. He will need a hot pace to make a big impact here.


There is a reason #4 Frosted, #5 El Kabeir, and #6 Daredevil are the favorites. #5 El Kabeir has done little wrong in New York this prep season and his last race was excellent. He can rate, press, or close if need be and he is the top choice here. #1 Tiz Shea D is probably a step below the top trio, but if he can get a good trip, he could round out the exacta. #6 Daredevil has three really good races and if the track comes up sloppy, he will be hard to beat. #4 Frosted may find it a bit easier against this group, but he needs to run better than his Fountain of Youth last out.

1. El Kabeir

2. Tiz Shea D

3. Daredevil

4. Frosted

Check back on Saturday evening for the recap of the Grade 1 Wood Memorial as well as the Santa Anita Derby and Blue Grass Stakes.

2015 Gotham Stakes Preview

2015 Gotham Stakes Preview

Saturday, March 7 features a total of three races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The first race of the three is the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct.

A total of 10 three-year olds will go a mile and a sixteenth on the inner dirt track. The purse is $400,000 with the top four finishers receiving 50, 20, 10, and 5 points respectively. The points for the winner will practically solidify a spot in the Kentucky Derby via the Points Leaderboard.

Post time for the Gotham Stakes is at 4:50 PM Eastern Time and is carded as the ninth race of the day. Free past performances can be found here.

1. Dontbetwithbruno (5-1 Morning Line) – The first of a trio for Todd Pletcher, he broke his maiden last time out in his third start. Prior to that he was second in his second race and fourth in his debut. He will break from post two in this race and he will get perfect position to stalk from behind the leaders. He is dangerous in this race.

1A. Uninfluenced (5-1 ML) – The second horse of the Pletcher trio, he will be breaking from post 8. He is still a maiden after finishing fourth by 5 lengths in his debut. Last time out, he was second by a neck at a mile on the inner dirt here at Aqueduct. He will need to step up to be a factor in this race. You would get better odds on him if he were not coupled.

1X. Blame Jim (5-1 ML) – The final Pletcher entrant will be breaking from post 10. He debuted in July 2014 at Saratoga where he went gate-to-wire and won by 3 lengths. After nearly 7 months on the bench, he came back on February 8 at Gulfstream and finished second by a length and a half. He clearly needed that last race, but he has not raced beyond six furlongs. He will probably be near the lead in this race and with his fellow entrants he has a chance to make some noise.

2. Combat Diver (12-1 ML) – He started his career on turf at Belmont where he finished tenth by 13 lengths. He moved to dirt in his second and won by a nose. He stepped up into Graded stakes competition in the Remsen where he was tenth by 19 lengths. Last time out he missed out on the win by a nose in the listed Miracle Wood at Laurel Park. He tends to make one run in his races and with several speed horse signed on, he could make a stretch run. He will be breaking from the rail here.

3. Classy Class (7-2 ML) – He broke his maiden at Belmont in October by 4 lengths before finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Remsen in his first try around two turns. After a little break, he returned in the Grade 3 Withers and tried to take the field gate-to-wire. He finished third by 2 3/4 lengths. He should be tighter on Saturday for this race, but there are quite a few speed horses in this race.

4. El Kabeir (8-5 ML) – The most experienced runner in this field is also the classiest. He has run in 5 consecutive graded stakes finishing first or second in four of them. In his last race, the Grade 3 Withers, he tried to duel three wide, but was run down by Far From Over in the last eighth of a mile to finish second by 1 3/4 lengths. The worry here is that he may get caught in another speed duel, but he should be close at the wire.

5. Lieutenant Colonel (5-1 ML) – He has only one start to his credit and it was at one mile at Gulfstream Park. He pressed the lead and then took over while holding on for the victory by a head. Now he makes the trek up north to Aqueduct where he faces other speed horses. He has a chance if he shows the ability to rate in his second start.

6. Tiz Shea D (15-1 ML) – Another horse who broke his maiden last time out, which was also in his first start. He won by 4 lengths at Parx under the care of trainer Jason Servis going 5.5 furlongs by sitting off the pace and taking over in the stretch. He has been switched to the barn of Bill Mott since his debut and his pedigree suggests the stretch out to 8.5 furlongs should not be an issue. The waters get deeper here, but the abundance of speed in combination with his rating ability makes him an intriguing long shot.

7. Toasting Master (20-1 ML) – The longest shot in the field based on the morning line makes his way from Florida. He began his career at Churchill Downs finishing second in his debut. Nearly 2 months later he came back at Churchill to break his maiden in his second race before winning the next race as well. He went to Gulfstream to try the Spectacular Bid field, but found it too tough finishing sixth by 14 lengths. His latest race was at a mile and a sixteenth at the Ocala Training Center. He finished fourth by 3 lengths when he prompted the pace. He has shown to be a need the lead type of horse and that severely compromises his chances here.

8. Tencendur (8-1 ML) – He will be breaking from post 9 and is also exiting the Grade 3 Withers. He finished fourth that day 5 lengths behind the leader while running evenly throughout. He has trained well for this race and there should be enough pace for him to close into while stalking the leaders. A worry for him breaking from the ninth post and trying to get a good spot behind the front runners. He is putting blinkers on, but overall is a tough horse to handicap in this race.



#4 El Kabeir is clearly the one to beat. He struggled last time to beat a mediocre field in the Grade 3 Withers and the worry here is that he will be caught in a speed duel. The entry of Todd Pletcher’s horses will be tough, especially #1 Dontbetwithbruno from post 2. He will get great position from that spot and have first run on the leaders. #6 Tiz Shea D is an interesting long shot making his route and stakes debut, but should have a good trip. #5 Lieutenant Colonel is also an interesting horse with his backers hoping he takes back and does not end up in the speed duel. #3 Classy Class should do better than last race of the break, but may end up with a lot of company on the lead that will hurt his chances.

1. Dontbetwithbruno (Pletcher entry of 1, 1A, and 1X)

2. El Kabeir

3. Tiz Shea D

4. Lieutenant Colonel

Check back on Saturday evening for a recap of the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes.

Horse Racing Loses A Great One In Cigar


(Image courtesy of BreedersCup.com)


There is sad news out of Kentucky on Wednesday that Cigar, a two-time horse of the year in 1995 and 1996, has passed away at age 24. He died following surgery on his neck.

Cigar was and still is a gold standard for horses in the last 20 years. Few horses have replicated or come close to what he accomplished during his career spanning from 1993 through 1996.

Cigar started his career in February 1993 with 9 starts. He won two of those 9 starts with the final 7 races coming on turf. He was transferred to the barn of Bill Mott. Mott ran Cigar 4 times on turf before moving him back to the main track. It was that switch that ignited a 16 race win streak that spanned from October of 1994 through July 1996.

Cigar is best known for his 16 race win streak that equaled the great Citation. During that win streak, Cigar won 10 Grade 1 races including the NYRA Mile (now renamed in Cigar’s honor), Donn Handicap (twice), Gulfstream Park Handicap, Oaklawn Handicap, Pimlico Special Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup, Woodward, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Breeders’ Cup Classic, and the Dubai World Cup.

Below is a replay of the 1995 Breeders’ Cup Classic in one of the most famous race calls in Tom Durkin’s illustrious career.



Cigar’s streak came to an end in the 1996 Pacific Classic at Del Mar where he was caught up in a speed duel and finished second to Dare and Go. Cigar’s final victory came in the Grade 1 Woodward at Belmont in 1996 when he won by 4 lengths. His final two career races were a second place finish in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup and third place in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 1996.

In that streak, Cigar won the inaugural running of the Dubai World Cup in 1996. The purse was $4 million dollars for the race held at Nad Al Sheba racecourse in Duabi, United Arab Emirates.

While Cigar was a great racehorse, he proved to be infertile after zero of the 34 mares he covered in the 1997 breeding season got pregnant. Cigar then went over to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky in 1999 where he remained until his death.

Cigar was out of Palace Music by the Seattle Slew mare Solar Slew. He was owned by the prominent businessman Allen E. Paulson. Cigar earned just short of $10 million in his career at $9,999,815.